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Monday, 25 October 2010

Honeymoon in Ireland - Page 3

Written by Christina Kay Bolton
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We continued to Cappabhaile House in Ballyvaughan, a small family-run hotel in the Burren. It was a meticulously clean and nicely decorated inn with flowers and plants everywhere. Our room had a view of wide farmland with a farmhouse in the distance. We had a sleigh bed and walls painted burnt orange.

This was the night of the final World Cup game and the innkeeper, Conor, helped us choose a place in town to see it, since that seemed more important than the food. We ended up at a standing room only pub and restaurant where with some luck and perseverance we managed to snag a table with a view of the large screen TV. The food was not great, but the air was filled with excitement as people cheered on their favorite team.

IMGP4974Breakfast was a huge meal with porridge or cereal as a first course and then a full Irish breakfast, an omelet, or a number of other options as the second. Conor recommended we drive back a few miles to see the ruins of Corcomroe Abbey before continuing down the beautiful coastal road to the Cliffs of Moher. Along the way we stopped at several lookouts where you could walk right to the edge of the cliffs and look back over terraced limestone hills. There is so much stone in these parts that everything seems to be made of it—from the houses to the ‘fences’ along property borders. We also saw some traditional thatched roofs of the area.



IMGP5014We got to the Cliffs of Moher and realized why its Ireland’s #1 tourist site, while enjoying the fabulous views. It is dramatic and spectacular. As a visitor you’re allowed to go to the main overlook sites which are great, but have large concrete retaining walls (nice if you have kids). When we got to the last one, we saw almost everyone stepping over a very small barrier meant to keep people out and walking past a sign that says ‘No Entry, Private Property’ up one of the most beautiful trails anywhere right along the cliffs. We loved the views and being right at the edge and since there were hundreds of people over there it was hard to worry about any consequences. We also went to the top of the lookout tower which gets you slightly higher, but is also crowded and tough to get a good photo in, so is not a must-do activity.






IMGP5048We continued our drive to Dromoland Castle where we’d be spending the night. Dromoland is a gorgeous rebuilt castle on manicured grounds between Ennis and Limerick. After a warm welcome we were shown to the Queen Anne Suite – the perfect honeymoon suite!


IMGP5056Decorated in shades of pale green, yellow, and white with chandeliers hanging in both the bedroom and the sitting room, thick draperies, and sumptuous linens – it was luxurious. Unlike the other castles that were older and more authentic (right down to the spiders in the bedrooms) this one was more modern as it was rebuilt in the 1800’s and then renovated in the 1960’s into a resort hotel. The bathroom was huge and done in polished marble; it even had a flat screen TV over the tub, so you could lay there and watch a movie if you liked (if you got tired of watching the two other flat screen TV’s in its other rooms). Other modern perks were a Bose stereo and ipod doc. Our view from tall windows over the golf course and lake along with its comfy couch and lounge chair meant we almost didn’t want to leave the room. But curiosity took over and we went out to explore.




The castle is filled with antiques and large portraits and is said to look similar to how it did when it was privately owned. Downstairs there is a spa and a large whirlpool and in another building nearby is a huge, quiet swimming pool. A lush walled garden with an abundance of flowers is next door. The lake has boats you can borrow if you like and there is fishing, horse riding, tennis, golf, archery, carriage rides, two restaurants and a classy bar. In short, you don’t need to leave and probably won’t want to.


We had dinner at the Earl of Thomond Restaurant which was a four-course extravaganza served by waiters in tuxes. I had fois gras to start, grapefruit sorbet, lamb with eggplant & pepper chutney and potatoes with sautéed onions. For dessert, I chose tiramisu and then petit fours were served with the coffee. Everything was delicious and presentation was top notch. There is also a less formal choice for dinner, the Fig Tree Restaurant which also serves lunch.

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Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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